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Apology not accepted

Now, for a critique...

Well we really screwed this one up…

Understatement much??

For reasons we are still trying to figure out what was supposed to be a well planned attempt to clean up a few journals that were violating LiveJournal's policies that protect minors turned into a total mess. I can only say I’m sorry, explain what we did wrong and what we are doing to correct these problems and explain what we were trying to do but messed up so completely.

The reason is simple: you danced to a fundie's tune, rather than follow LJ policies and practices. You went into a knee-jerk "protect the chiiildren" mode that always penalizes innocent adults.

What we did wrong;
1) Over the last couple of days we have suspended (not deleted) about 500 journals out of many millions on LJ.

Too many journals, and communities; too little evidence. You knuckled under to a bully.

2) It is now clear that in an unfortunate number of cases these journals were suspended for easily correctable problems in their profiles that would then allow them to be reinstated and that this was not communicated to the journal or community owners at all.

What *was* communicated was a "no appeals" type policy. Bad.

3) Further, because of miscommunication these journals were taken down before review could be completed to avoid mistakes.

You didn't review jack shit. The fundies whined, about things they knew nothing about, you feel prostrate on your knees, and knee-jerked journals away "for the chiiiiildren".

How we are fixing it.

You aren't.

1) Over the next few hours we will review the journals that were taken down and wherever appropriate we will restore these journals or communities before 12 noon PDT. Sorry it will take that long but we do not want to reinstate true and clear violators of community policy.

Bullshit. The fact that you are exercising editorial control makes you now liable for everything.

2) In some cases Journals that were restored will be asked to clarify their profiles to avoid the appearance that they are soliciting or encouraging illegal activities.

Any half-way reasonable *adult*, which your fundie whiners *aren't*, knows that an interest in "murder" (as in murder mysteries, murder stories, etc) is not a solicitation to go murder someone. Same with incest, torture, nazism, sodomy, homosexuality or drugs. Your argument is specious, at best.

3) Journals that we do not restore will be journals that we are fairly sure are actually intended to encourage activities that put minors at risk but we will review them if requested by their owner to be certain that we did not make a mistake.

So it's okay for hate groups, pro-ana groups, and other such scum to encourage their pet crimes, but if you think it might harm "the chiiiildren", it's now banned? Never mind that hate groups and pro-ana twits target the young too?

4) In cases that we ask owners to clarify their profiles and they fail to do so within 7 days we will suspend their journals again.

Clarify?? Why should they have to clarify their profiles?? Just so some fundie can search them and not get squicked?? Fuck that shit. *We're* your customers, not them.

So what were we trying to do when we messed up so badly?

Reinvent Disneyland? Or sanitize LJ so it's suitable for (only) children?? Sorry, we like an adult LJ.

As most of you know, LJ has a zero tolerance policy toward content that supports child abuse, pedophilia, or sexual violence. In implementation of this zero tolerance policy there were two issues that made it hard to apply these policies consistently;

You know, every time I hear or see "zero tolerance", I think of unreasoned, knee-jerk, reactions to buzzwords. I think of children arrested for drawing pictures of guns, or bringing butter knives to school. This very much makes me regret ponying up for a perm membership for myself and my roomie a couple years ago.

I don't support any organization that uses the term "zero tolerance" for anything. Too reactionary, too knee-jerk, too stupid. The world isn't black and white, plus and minus. Zero tolerance is binary thinking. Very, very, very, very bad.

Issue one was profiles.

No. Issue one was knee-jerk idiocy.

There were a number of profiles that expressed “interest” in activities that most of us would agree put children at risk, notably pedophilia and child rape.

Wrong. A number of profiles listed interests that you assume would somehow, by being printed on a page, be a risk to "the chiiiiildren". Sucks to be wrong, doesn't it?

Both in the instructions for profiles and in other places on the site we make it clear that interests listed should be evaluated within the context of “I like x”, “I’m in favor of x” or “I support x”.

Which is not what "interests" means, and you know it. Your instructions are lame, misleading, and impractical.

As many profiles are the only public part of a private journal and profiles serve partly as an advertisement for people of like interests, it is important that the content of a profile can be evaluated as if it stands alone. If your profile were to express interest in pedophilia with no other content that describes this interest as in helping survivors or protecting children from it we must read the profile as “I like or I support or I’m in favor of it.” For this reason we suspended profiles that meet this criteria.

More bunk. The viewable profile says "Interests". It does not says "likes", "advocates", "supports", etc. It says "Interests". Any reasonable human being, on seeing a list that said "Abu Ghraib, gitmo, habeas corpus, torture, war on terror" would not assume that the person liked Abu Ghraib, gitmo, or torture, but would, correctly, surmise that the person was interested in discussion and information about those topics.

Another issue we needed to deal with was journals that used a thin veneer of fictional or academic interest in events and storylines that include child rape, pedophilia, and similar themes in order to actually promote these activities.

Oh, horseshit!! "Thin veneer" my rosy red ass!! If a story or discussion about illegal activities can encourage them, then Ann Coulter needs to be jailed for multiple counts of exhortation to murder!!

While there are stories, essays, and discussions that include discussion of these issues in an effort to understand and prevent them, others use a pretext to promote these activities.

Where'd you copy-paste that from, the WfI web site?? It's baloney.

It’s often very hard to tell the difference.

Especially if you don't use your brain, but act in "zero tolerance" knee-jerk mode.

As such, we intended to have suspend reported journals that do not clearly and substantially object to these a reasonable person would think supported these activities. while at the same time portraying them.

Yes, but a reasonable person would not cry "zero tolerance" and "protect the chiiiildren" at the drop of a dollar.

We recently received a complaint from outside the community about a number of journals. When we receive such complaints it is our obligation to look into them but it is our standards not theirs that we use to make decisions about the complaints. The source of this complaint was not the source of the problem we created.

Bullshit. The source of the complaint was the direct cause of the problem, because of the way that those people twist anything they object to into being somehow more evil and dangerous than it is.

We never intended this policy to cause the removal of journals that were have perfectly valid discussions about literature, law or culture.

But you did it anyway, by trying to cater to the zero tolerance fundie "make the net suitable for (only) fundie children"

We never intended the policies to take down journals or communities clearly opposed to illegal activities but clearly we did. We love our members of fandom and respect their role in our community. We made a mistake and now we are going to try to fix it.

Uh, huh. Suuuure. Until the next time your fundie wingnut lords and masters come whining about gays, or incest, or BDSM...

That is it. We have always been strong supporters of free speech and at the same time we believe deeply that children deserve special protections as well as the victims of violence and hate.

No, you don't. You aren't trying to protect children, victims of violence, or victims of hate. Otherwise you would have whacked all of the white supremacy, rahowa, white power, anti-gay, and other interests too.

IOTW, you're lying.

We tried to implement a policy that walk that line and we did it poorly, we are all sorry.

You're only sorry because it caused you bad publicity.

One could say that no matter what we did we would either be accused of opposing free speech or endangering children but I am sure we should and could have done this much better.

Words on a screen don't endanger children. Fiction doesn't endanger children. Furthermore, it's not *your* job to "protect the chiiiiildren" - that job belongs to the parents.

I hope you can forgive us and we can regain your trust.

Not fucking likely. I never trust people who spew crap about "zero tolerance" and "protect the children". They will *always* fuck over thinking, reasoning, reality-based adults.

Barak Berkowitz
Chairman and CEO Six Apart

And lame assed twit.


Talking to press:
It seems that people are very upset that I did a phone call with cNet before posting here. Probably a mistake but I did make it clear to them that we were still looking in to this and that I would have a better answer by the end of the day. Sorry but it really took some time to figure out how messed up this was.

Bullshit. You didn't think it mattered. You though like that bitch Mena does, that LJ is just a bunch of emo 13 year olds talking about boys and barbies.

You didn't give a shit, until it became really, really, REALLY obvious that it was a PR disaster.

Isn't this all just a panicked reaction to WFI?
Not really. WFI or anyone else may complain but we are responsible for applying our policies to those complaints. . Even idiots can be right about some things. We try not to judge the complaint by the source but rather judge them by our policies. I believe the problem here was not the complaints or the policies but our very poor execution.

I call bullshit. You caved to WFI. Like a naughty puppy crawling to it's alpha bitch master, you caved, your knees jerked, and you fucked over your *own customers* on the word of a bunch of fundie dominionist nutjobs.

You are not only a liar, but a fundie bootlicker as well.

Why did it take so long?
Well when you mess up some times you really mess up and it takes a while to even sort it out, It was really bad timing, so many people were traveling and even out of touch. When we did get it figured out I thought it would be worse to make a statement that was incorrect than to wait and try hard to get it right, I may have been wrong, I don't know. I would hate to be apologies every hour, Its late.

If the timing was bad, why did you do it?? Why didn't you pause, evaluate, test your assumptions, and check with the fucking LJ founders?? Were you too scared of your fundie masters?? Bootlicker.

Will you make mistakes again?
I’m sure we will. These policies are hard to define and harder to enforce consistently. We are trying to walk a fine line between our love of free speech and our desire to protect children and others. The vast majority of these issues are clear but there will be time we make the wrong call, we will try hard to correct our mistakes faster and not make them on such a big scale but I’m sure we will make them.

Of course you will. As long as you listen to fundies, wingnuts, and "protect the chiiiildren" wannabe censors, you will constantly screw over your user base. Protecting "chiiiildren" is not your fucking job. Running a blogging and community service is your job. An 18+ closed community is not a risk to children - they can't read it. While any individual can be a risk to children, it's not your job to police all of the Catholic priests, day-care workers, and registered sex offenders that might have journals.

Where is Brad?
He is on a well deserved vacation. He has worked so hard for so long to make this site great. He probably would have responded faster. I will need to beg his forgiveness too for doing such a bad job of filling in his absence.

I suggest that you resign. You've fucked over his creation. At the very least, you will have to bow more deeply to him than you already have to your fundie masters.

I’m going to try and get some rest.

How can you sleep at night, knowing you are a stupid, knee-jerk, idiot who panders to dominionist fundies and wannabe net-cops?? Hell, how do you look in the mirror?

ETA: Permission to link, or repost intact with attribution, is granted. If you repost, please preserve the italics and strikethroughs, they define who said what.


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
Until the next time your fundie wingnut lords and masters come whining about gays, or incest, or BDSM...

Or pagans, or Muslims, or anyone with 'Harry Potter' in their interest list...
May. 31st, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC)
This post is awesome. hello my new hero.
May. 31st, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
Both in the instructions for profiles and in other places on the site we make it clear that interests listed should be evaluated within the context of “I like x”, “I’m in favor of x” or “I support x”.

Which is not what "interests" means, and you know it. Your instructions are lame, misleading, and impractical.

And I quote directly from their own directions in our Edit Profile Interest section.....

Short single-word phrases are best.

Rule of thumb: You should be able to put the interest in the sentence "I like ________".

When referring to nouns, use the plural form for consistency, e.g.: "I like DVDs" instead of "I like DVD".

GOOD Example: biking, snow skiing, computers, dvds, mp3s, cheese

BAD Example: I like lots of bands and watching movies and talking to friends and going to clubs. That sort of stuff goes in your bio below.

May. 31st, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
That makes it less bullshit how, exactly?

Here's an idea: For your rule of thumb, you should use a word that is derived from the word interest. Interest and like are not synonymous--anyone who remembers high-school should be able to tell you the difference between the two words.

In other words:

"Rule of thumb: You should be able to put the interest in the sentence 'I am interested in discussing ________.'"

You screwed up. Fine. Now fix it.
(no subject) - phoenix_blue - May. 31st, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rpangel - May. 31st, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zianuray - May. 31st, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rpangel - May. 31st, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ravan - May. 31st, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rpangel - May. 31st, 2007 11:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rpangel - May. 31st, 2007 11:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - paradigmshifty - May. 31st, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 31st, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC)
So... after the mass outcry from users, where's the ADVISER that told you to do this? Apparently you don't know shXt about this forum that you bought, and neither does your adviser, and I sincerely hope you get one that knows to warns you about what Should Definitely NOT Be Done. Soon.

Best wishes to you, MORON.
May. 31st, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
And why is that fuckwad neocon fascist Dominionist pricks disguise themselves with innocuous names like 'Warriors for Innocence' meanwhile they fight against homo rights, express glee at torture and our War of Terror?
Jun. 1st, 2007 05:20 am (UTC)
I just want to mention that, aside from the general agreement about those Christianists, I love your icon.
(no subject) - paradigmshifty - Jun. 13th, 2007 01:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
May. 31st, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
Yes. Permission to link, or repost with attribution, is granted.
(no subject) - technoshaman - May. 31st, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ravan - Jun. 1st, 2007 05:45 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 31st, 2007 10:31 pm (UTC)
Well said. Linked from my journal. I have added "censorship" and "la Marseillaise" to my list of interests by way of illustration.
May. 31st, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
Wow, that totally cheered me up. xD
May. 31st, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC)
Linked on my journal btw.
May. 31st, 2007 11:25 pm (UTC)
What's next?

  • SixApart might claim my LJ is pornographic because of all the "cuddly" interests in my profile? Someone might think I've got a furry fetish (which I don't), or that I equate snuggling with sex (like Homer Simpson).

  • Then again, they might think I worship Satan (sorry, wrong pantheon!) and practice witchcraft (I don't even do rune readings now)...because I enjoy playing and designing fantasy role-playing games.

  • Then again, they might suspend my account for promoting Nazism because I'm openly Heathen...and "everyone knows" the Nazi party supported a Heathen revival (never mind that Hitler, gods curse that racist scumbag, ridiculed the idea himself).

See my point yet?

May. 31st, 2007 11:42 pm (UTC)
I envy those - like you - who can express themselves clearly and succintly while I'm still flummoxed.
Jun. 1st, 2007 12:53 am (UTC)
Um, hey, I know this is really, really OT, but earlier this evening, something you predicted did in fact come even closer to true. It wasn't a "Would you like to ____? Here's a contract to sign" so much as "Would you ever be interested in ____?", but holy SHIT, that place was the last I expected would ever offer me creative writing. You... you... the hoodoo that you do... how? o_O
Jun. 1st, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
It's a gift I'm trying to learn how to use well.
Jun. 1st, 2007 10:39 am (UTC)
Jun. 1st, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
may i purloin your icon?
(no subject) - ruthyuki999 - Jun. 2nd, 2007 08:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 1st, 2007 01:49 pm (UTC)
You are the wind beneath my wings.
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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